Mamallapuram, globally recognized in recent years for hosting significant events, is poised for a substantial facelift with the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) gearing up to formulate a comprehensive 20-year New Town Development Plan. Encompassing the period from 2025 to 2045, this ambitious plan will cover 25 villages within the historic town of Mamallapuram, situated on the Coromandel Coast about 60 km south of Chennai.
The town gained international prominence in October 2019 when it hosted the informal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Subsequently, it hosted the prestigious Chess Olympiad in July 2022 and served as the venue for various G20 meetings.
The 15th Finance Commission's report highlighted the significance of rejuvenating old cities and establishing new ones. The Mamallapuram New Town Development Plan falls under the umbrella of Urban Mobility and Spatial Development, with CMDA set to appoint a consulting firm for plan preparation, as per a recently issued tender.
The project envisions the creation of a satellite town near Mamallapuram along the East Coast Road, employing a land pooling model by CMDA. Following this initiative, the State government officially declared Mamallapuram as a New Town Development area in August.
Mamallapuram, dating back to the 7th century and renowned for its artistic and architectural heritage under the Pallava rulers, achieved UNESCO World Heritage status in 1984. The town, dotted with Seven Pagodas and the iconic Shore Temple, attracts nearly 8 million visitors annually.
The development plan aligns with the broader growth strategy of the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA). With the enhancement of the East Coast Road as a four-lane road traversing the New Town, the area anticipates increased developmental activities.
Furthermore, Mamallapuram's abundant maritime resources are set to be connected to the rail network via an electric train and served by an extension of the Metro rail in the near future. The comprehensive planning framework envisioned by the New Town Development Plan aims to unlock growth potential, benefit the local community, and contribute to the integrated development of the entire CMA region.
The proposed planning area encompasses villages from Thirukazhukundram and Thiruporur Taluk, emphasizing a holistic approach to development. The World Bank is actively supporting the State government in designing and implementing the Urban Mobility and Spatial Development project, focusing on integrated planning, infrastructure enhancement, and sustainable urban mobility.
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